tv [untitled] August 20, 2010 3:00pm-3:30pm PST
>> if you hear strange sounds, we will be hearing strange sounds all the time. this is part of our new installation called "what is missing." i am the executive director of the academy. people in san francisco are very fortunate to have a truly remarkable public arts pro gram that makes projects like this one possible. we open this building one year ago. since then, about 2.3 million visitors have come through the california academy of arts and sciences. that is ok. my original goal was to speak alcatraz.
don't tell anyone, of course. i think that we did it. it is a brilliant year. if we get a real rush, we could hit 3 million by the anniversary. we would like to have a last minute push. we are fortunate enough to have two public artworks by mai ling. the first is on the west terrace where the land meets the sea. mai is a dedicated environmentalist and this is consistent with who she is as a person. we are quite have this book and did by her works. this is an extension of all that is in between it and it encourages people to think about the world and their responsibility to it. the academy is all about two
questions, how did we get here and the challenge of sustainability? i suggest that there are no more important questions for our time and all that you see around here deals with those issues. we will hear from maya in a few minutes. i would like to think many people who made this possible. first the members of the art advisory committee, bill wilson and mary [inaudible] and the arts commissioner. the golden gate music conkers advisory committee. -- concourse advisory committee. the former curator of the deyoung museum. can you imagine? this is fantastic.
the academy scientists who work during the early design phase of this installation included [inaudible] carol tang, brian fisher, jack dunn blocker, [inaudible] i also want to acknowledge my predecessor who played such a seminal role in the design of the academy. he is now at the university of colorado. the director of the exhibit development who insured that the installation went off without a hitch just as he ensured that
the entire academy moved to howard street and then moved back without one lost fish. of course, the arts commission in the city of san francisco. it is my pleasure to introduce this senior adviser to mayor gabonese som - -gavin newsom. >> i am here representing the mayor. he is anticipating the birth of his child which should come to any minute now. on behalf of the mayor, welcome to this dedication of the sculpture. the mayor early in his career realize the transforming power of public arts.
it starts a discourse. it challenges us as citizens. what is missing is the expression of what people in san francisco and the mayor are trying to achieve. we are trying to be the greatest city possible. our art should reflect our times and values. composting, water conservation, bicycling, plastic bags, plastic bottles, we are mocked sometimes for how we lead and today we are the been on public art. 90% of our big fish are gone. 1/3 of all species are missing. what is yet to be determined is that this is a memorial for us
to listen. this will be spoken to millions of children. thank you for your gift. you have already exceeded our expectations. i would like to give you the president of the arts commission. >> thank you. on behalf of the city family and all of our elected officials and especially the arts commission, it is on honor to be here and to mark this incredible vacation.
-- occasion. with this addition to the city's civic collection, san francisco will become home not only to this last public memorial but also the artist's first multimedia work. if you have not had a chance to get up close, please do so as a very exciting and innovative art work. i would like to thank the academy of sciences for being such a wonderful partner in this project with us and for welcoming not only the artist but the arts commission. some of us grew up in these avenues and it is a very joyous
occasion to come back and rekindle our love in this new incredible facility. what could be a better home for these two artworks, these two pieces, then this incredible building? we now have to two amazing pieces by a world class -- one of the greatest artists working in the world today. this is perhaps one of the best masterpieces in the world. this project is the result of an ordinance which is providing capital construction projects and the city dedicates 2% to the development of public art.
although the academy of sciences is a not-for-profit institution, this is on public land after all. the san francisco arts commission worked tirelessly to applying the arts in richmond fund and then we got a little bit of help along the way. -- enrichment fund and then we got a little bit of help along the way. finally, i think that we should take a moment to not only and knowledge and celebrate the brilliance of the artists but also the hard work and the tenacity of the many people who helped make this happen. greg mentioned a few of them, i would like to make a mention in particular, the director of public arts for the city and county of san francisco who shepherded the project from its inception to this day with a lot
of help from my former colleagues on the arts commissioner. the former chair of the public art committee as well as in other former commissioner who contributed their expertise to the project and helped to guide it to success. we would not be here today without their dedication and tenacity. we'll be joined by the dean of academic affairs at the san francisco art institute. i want to thank her and welcome her to the microphone. thank you. [applause] >> thank you for coming. it is a distinct pleasure and honor to have been lucky enough
to have been there for the very beginning of this project and the selection phase. sometimes, we don't get to see things all of the way through so this will be special to me. particularly, it was a special and extraordinary and creative opportunity to work with the artist. one of the excitemenexciting tho watch the credit process unfold and also to be a part of it sometimes. -- watched the creative process unfold. they want to aspire to work as a part of their career. sometimes, with public art, we focus so much on the environment
in which we take place. the constraints under which it takes place, it can be outdoors, it can be allowed, it has to be approachable and accessible. sometimes things can become so overwhelming, i was laughing at a press conference when maya was concerned about the cooling system. sometimes we lose sight of what is so extraordinary about public art when it works so well. when she came to us for the initial proposal, she said she wanted to do two pieces. we thought that was great. we thought it would be complicated. what happened is that she created two pieces that are not only beautiful but necessary to one another. that is what makes this work so extraordinary to me. on the other side of the
building where the land lease the city, this asks us to think about what we cannot see because it is beneath the surface. to think about this is kind of imagine tiff. when she began to conceptualize this piece, she was absolutely consistent that it had some sort of sensory, tactile relationship to the people looking at it. to how the world touches you and how it involves you and makes you a part of it. we have a piece on the other side of the plaza that says this is where we are today, this is the contour of where we need to surface. then we have a piece on this side of the building that says that we're working from here to the entire rest of the world. everything we do as individuals as we stand here in front of this piece and think about the choices that we make and think about whether we use that
plastic bottle or that top, has implications in the world. we hear sounds that involves us, we hear things that put us in a particular place. we live in a world that we have to try to address even though it might seem too big for us to grasp in one class, gesture, or action. -- too big for us to grasp in one glass. this is an amazing piece. an amazing solution. an amazing challenge dealing with the ambitions to talk about questions of sustainability. to look at these preservation efforts. to do it in a way that even a child can engage in. the we think about how the children coming to the academy will interact with it. as a former arts commissioner
and as a citizen of san francisco, we want to celebrate this season and to thank maya for the pleasure of working with her. thank you. [applause] >> it is a delight to introduce the director of the academy center for biodiversity research. [applause] >> thank you for the opportunity to share a few words about what it is like from the perspective of the academy of sciences. i had been one of many sources of information of the sciences is that has contributed to the extraordinary journey of knowledge about biodiversity. on behalf of my colleagues, i
can tell you that we are thrilled to have a portal to the earth on our east terrace. what is missing is a subject that lies at the very core of the research of the institution. we are about documented and describing the diversity of life and this portal allows you to experience that directly. our research centers about going to the far corners of the world which we have been doing for 150 years. we can offer a perspective on life which is our foundation and knowledge. in short, academy sciences have been for well over a century [inaudible] we will feel the pulse.
this transforms the idea of a dry list of many species that have gone extinct into an emotional experience of how small our fish has become, how few great migrations there are. how great is the darkness of our night sky. we emerge recognizing that we are on a trajectory and what is missing allows us to understand what the scope of that trajectory is. if we look just from what is around us, the scope does not look as deep. what we're looking at takes us back to how things used to be and we can recognize how deep that trajectory is. by reminding us of what it has lost, we can see much more clearly where we are headed. the academy welcomes you to enter the portal that maya has
created, to feel the connections that have been made right here between past and present and future. to ask if you are shifting the direction we're headed. thank you very much. [applause] >> it is my pleasure to introduce john fitzpatrick. >> thank you so much. i think you are one speaker away from the main attraction so i promise to be brief but i want to say first of all congratulations to the california academy of sciences, the board, and the staff. congratulations to the city of
san francisco and the arts commission. congratulations to maya for bringing all of those thoughts and images and connections that this project has gone through to fruition here in this megaphone. it just occurred to me sitting right over there that endangered species and extinct species and threatened ecosystems and migrations around the world that are in peril of being lost because of the human endeavor, they all had a megaphone at this point. congratulations to the city of chicago for having this. what occurred to me is that this is pointed straight at the north american continent. it is broadcasting to the citizens of the entire country and it is carried out all over the world.
what we have in store, we hope, the reversal that has begun over the past month. when the lab is a place that in many respects was predisposed to be adapted to the visit and first phone call. we have for almost 100 years used charismatic creatures not just to understand how nature works. after all, birds are extremely valuable tools. they are something much more, they communicate by sound, color. they are natures best spokespersons to us humans to think about how nature works and to think about our relationship with it.
this has been made part of our mission as well, not just to understand how species are but to use them to attract human beings to the idea that we have a relationship with this and we responsible. when we got the call from maya about doing the piece, it was a real treat. it was a no-brainer to say that we have to work with you. we have the world's largest repository of sound recordings. we had a very large growing library. it has been a terrific treat to work with maya and to see a small bit of how this creative
mind works. we have long thought to unite science with art. all of the creatures in movements and patterns and places are related. when she first visited to the loud and met with the people who talk about ideas, i can tell you by the end of that meeting, i went back to new york city and i had a committee of people going [inaudible] how can this come together? this is the beginning of a multi institution effort to get everyone in the world to be thinking about our
responsibilities and opportunities using the personal experience that one gets up close and personal with these beautiful creatures. what a treat. congratulations. >> thank you. with the light, pleasure and a sense of getting this -- with delight and pleasure, i introduce maya lynn. >> thank you. i am curious about this because i've heard that if we don't get to this quickly, there will be a disco beat. the academy has been so helpful.
to this san francisco parts commission, president johnson, the commissioners, thank you so much for your unwavering work. it is crazy that we ended up doing two projects. thank you, the face you have in this project, we could pull this off and this is pretty amazing. without your support and respect for the experimentation, this would not have happened. thank you. to the board and the scientists and staff, thank you for all the questions that you ask, all the answers that you sent me. i was too worried about the landscape and the fact that in my work -- i love science but i
think more like an artist. thank you for humouring me. you were great, you send me so much material. we went through it but maybe in a random way. i think that that is the duty between form a the relationship between science and art and i would probably say that you have been exposed more than you want to an artist process. -- i think that it is the duty between form and relationship. i have been very much informed by science. i think that we sent all of these over to the experts because there's nothing that i want to say here that is not grounded and very much in fact. in fact, sometimes we were stripping back some of the attacks that were sent because
they were too emotional. -- some of the texts that we were sent because they were too emotional. if i can just present the history and try to pull back and maybe change the tone. if i come off too strong, you might turn away and lose interest. this is a fine line that i have been playing. i want to thank scott and his team who has helped installing with the landscaped and with the tone and all of the crazy iterations that i try to explore out here. thank you for humouring me. in the next few years, if we explored many different iterations. we want you to look at it and
see an image. i know that you will really be taking care of it and now. last night, being out here, checking the humidity inside. we were a the high end today it is stabilized. i know that i leave the cone in incredibly good hands. thank you. we have done in two major art works for the price of one. of course, if you had not come through it would have been impossible for us to do this. >> johjohn fitzpatrick and the amazing staff at cornell. the amount of film that the ornithology lap donated. -- lab donated. i cannot thank you announced. i think that the fact that we are a very visual creature, you
will not see the animal first, you will hear it. you will read what is and then we will let you see it. we tend to be incredibly visual. maybe you will pay close attention to some of the sounds. sounds gives us a way of experiencing a place, not just this but places. i would also like to acknowledge incredibly generous support of national geographic archives, the bbc, and some may be in -- and some amazing independent filmmakers.